Tag Archives: Trans Mongolian

Riding a two humped camel, running up a 300m sand dune and eating dinner from a bucket…The Gobi Desert

Quickly pulling on my boots, coat and hat I ducked out of the small door of the family’s ger we were sharing for the night in hopes of finding the toilet. In the winter, in the wilds of the Mongolian countryside, it can get pretty damn cold. -40C are not unheard of and though it wasn’t that cold tonight I still needed thermals on under my trousers and the quicker the pee the better! My first problem was attempting to avoid the family’s herd of goats who were nearby, shinning the torch ahead the reflections of dozens of eyes shone back in the darkness. The next was to try to locate the ‘toilet’ itself. I say toilet it was really just a hole, with a couple of planks of wood on top and some boards around the side, to protect your bare bum from the sand or wind! After successfully finding my target I picked my way back to the outline of the ger and briefly looked up at the sky. Never, since sleeping in the back of the car in the Australian bush had I seen stars so bright and never in the northern hemisphere. Without a light for miles around in ever direction the sky was awash with silver specs and then one shot across the sky…yeh I know its cheesy but I saw a shooting star in the Gobi desert and I had a ‘wow’ moment…

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Journeying west…the train to Mongolia

The lights were off in our train carriage and as the door was pulled open the border control guard shined a bright torch in our faces. He was checking our appearance against the photos in our passports and his demeanour was serious. This part of border crossings is often a tense moment, mainly because Ryan looks distinctly different from his passport photo. Lets just say there has been a huge movement of hair from his head to his face which usually goes one of two ways: the guard laughs or he takes a long time examining his passport, presumably weighing up whether Ryan’s a threat to national security…well he does have a beard after all!

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